Unitsky String Technologies Inc. has tested one of the market newest composite material. The head of Transport Overpass Design Office Vyacheslav Babushkin told us about the goals and results of this test.
– Please clarify what this material is?
The GRP-epoxy material is considered to be one of the main insulators and will be an important element of the optimal solutions applied in the new generation of rail-string track structures being developed. This material should meet special requirements for strength characteristics, electrical resistance, and durability.
In addition, such material is composite. This means that its structure is heterogeneous, and consists of several materials: power reinforcement fibers and a binding agent. It is important to note that the properties of these materials are also unequal.
It is planned to produce insulators for power strips from the studied material. They are like sleepers located with a certain step along the track. This is an important detail, as the insulator is a part of the strip intended to provide the track throughout the structure, as well as to insulate the positive potential from negative one in the left and right rails. Large scale optimization of the element structure will allow to significantly increase its efficiency and reduce its cost, making it more attractive to customers in terms of construction of hundreds and thousands of kilometers of string rail roads.
– What was the purpose of this test?
The fact is that often the material producer does not provide complete information about all the properties we need for design, while giving only basic information. Therefore, in order to clearly understand how we can use the material in the track structures and evaluate its durability, we are running our own tests to detect the parameters we need.
– What results have been obtained?
The results obtained were generally satisfactory. The material tests provided all the necessary characteristics: strength upon compression, tensile, and bending. We have also studied the modulus of the material elasticity and determined the coefficient of linear thermal expansion. All tests were conducted in accordance with European Standards (EN). There were no less than 3 samples to detect each parameter.
In order to understand the performance parameters of this composite material under different loads, it is important to consider the position of the reinforcing fibers. Upon employment of this material in track structures, the load must be borne by reinforcing component. Therefore, to determine the location of these fibers, the filler was burned out from the material sample.
It is important to note that this material is classified as non-combustible, so there is no self-combustion.
It is one of dozens of tests conducted every month by UST Inc. specialists. String rail systems for urban, inter-city, high-speed passenger transportation, as well as for cargo processing are constantly being improved. In line with the major commercial projects, the engineers are actively seeking ways of optimization.
This provides additional competitive advantages of the company’s products and protection against possible plagiarism. Supposing that someone will want to copy our transport infrastructure complexes, we are not afraid because we have already developed hundreds of know-hows and have tested them in an experimental way. By the time the opponents would have repeated what we’ve already built, we will be a few steps ahead. Essentially, they cannot prevail, because once we have pulled ahead in the development of Unitsky’s string transport, we have been ahead forever.